This one day course will focus on practical strategies for teachers to be able to promote the highest achievements from their students. Together we will look at the skills students need to attain the highest level in the new GCSE specification. Using feedback from 2018, our highly experienced presenter will look at key areas where students at the top level succeeded and missed marks, to examine teaching ideas and methods and high level examination technique which allows the very best students to demonstrate their abilities fully in the final exams and achieve a Grade 9.


  • Develop a greater understanding of what examiners are looking for at the highest level
  • Explore strategies to support students in attaining the highest levels
  • Enhance your teaching with a sharp focus on examination success and the thinking skills required for Grade 9
  • Take away strategies to challenge and motivate high achieving learners
  • Gain an insight into the GCSE examinations process and how you can use that to improve your teaching to Grade 9 students
COURSE DATES Sheffield Thursday 4 July 2019
London Tuesday 5 November 2019
  • All teachers of AQA GCSE History
  • Directors of Learning
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 10.30am
Reflecting on the 2018 AQA Examinations

  • Grade boundaries and examiners’ reports: common themes for Grade 7 to 9 students and what differentiated the very best work
  • Areas where high achieving students missed marks and how to avoid this with your students in 2019
  • Reflections on what students did well and how to encourage that in your students
  • What did examiners say about the very best student performances?

10.30 – 11.30am
Moving From Level Three to Level Four

  • What makes a Grade 9 answer? Understanding the mark schemes to extend high attaining students
  • From explanation to complex thinking
  • How to support students in accessing the highest grades – teaching ideas and strategies that really work

11.30 – 11.45am
Discussion: coffee break

11.45 – 1.00pm
Exploring the High Tariff Questions

  • Working with contextual knowledge: how do top end students deploy this?
  • Dealing with source based questions, to ensure excellent understanding and answers
  • Working with interpretation questions – what are examiners looking for and what to avoid
  • Exam timings – where excellent students make errors and how to avoid this

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 3.00pm
The Historic Environment Question

  • The demands of the Historic Environment question
  • Applying what we’ve learned to the Historic Environment question
  • Resourcing the Historic Environment to allow Grade 9 students to flourish
  • Excellent independent thinking and learning on the AQA Historic Environment

3.00 – 3.15pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

3.15 – 3.45pm
Revision Hacks for Your Excellent Students

  • Dealing with the depth and range of content required
  • Helping learners decode the questions and produce highly effective answers
  • Utilising skills across Paper 1 and 2: teaching methods that ensure real historical understanding
  • How to impress the examiner and achieve an overall Grade 9

Dr Paul Johnson

Paul is an experienced examiner, Deputy Head and trainer with more than 35 years’ teaching experience in a range of educational contexts. He is a Senior Examiner with a leading examination board, a former Principal Moderator and the author of a number of text books and articles on the craft of history teaching. He could recently be heard on BBC radio giving advice on Revision Hacks for parents and students.

View all courses led by Dr Paul Johnson >